In honor of the Academy of Country Music Awards this weekend, here are country music’s top 10 outdoorsmen.
With the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards going down this Sunday, April 6, 2014, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, we thought it would be wise to make the obvious connection between country music personalities and their love for hunting, fishing and shooting.
You may know about some of these musicians’ affinity for the outdoors, you may have even seen them on an Outdoor Channel show, but others may come as a surprise. Check out the list and see if there is anyone we may have left out.
View the slideshow to see country music’s top 10 outdoorsmen.
Shelton is one of the hosts for the ACM Awards this weekend, and he’s a four-time past award winner. This year he’s up for Vocalist of the Year. He reportedly proposed to his wife, Miranda Lambert, during a hunting trip. “I got in from hunting that morning, and asked her to marry me, and we went back out hunting,” Shelton said in a CMT interview.
Luke Bryan is the reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year, and happens to be hosting this year’s show with fellow outdoorsmen Blake Shelton. Bryan is part of the Buck Commander
family, making regular appearances on the Outdoor Channel show. He’s up for three awards this weekend.
If her 2008 single “Gun Powder and Lead” wasn’t enough to give it away, Lambert is a fan of shooting and hunting. She’s appeared on Outdoor Channel shows and has even been alligator hunting in Florida. And, as mentioned, she was proposed to by her husband, Blake Shelton, and immediately went hunting after saying yes. They reportedly had venison at their wedding, harvested by Lambert. She’s earned seven ACM nominations this year.
Brown has appeared on several hunting television shows, including Fear No Evil with Chris Brackett, who said this about the frontman of the Zac Brown Band: “Zac has sold millions of records; plays to sold out arenas; has his own food products, leather and knife line; and record label. He does it all, including hunting – from rifles to bows and everything in-between. He loves to hunt.” He’s also been involved with RAM’s Red Arrow, a show mainly about bowhunting, on the Outdoor Channel.
“King George” is known as an avid hunter and angler, and he lists them among his many hobbies on his website. Odds are he knows of some great spots to hunt in Texas, and we’re betting he’s probably never paid for a guided hunt in his home state since making it big.
Hank Williams, Jr.
“I can skin a buck, I can run a trot line and a country boy can survive.” So goes one of Hank Jr.’s songs, written and performed by an avid outdoorsman who happens to be an awesome country musician as well. Williams hunts deer, turkey, moose, elk and more, and owns hunting properties in Montana and Alabama.
“The Fishing Song” is Paisley’s homage to one of his favorite pastimes, even thought it’s about a girl who ends a relationship because her man fishes too much. We’re not sure if it’s entirely autobiographical, but Brad’s an avid bass angler and has featured the legendary Bill Dance in a music video.
Born in Georgia, Akins is an accomplished turkey hunter. “Just because you don’t have a show on the Outdoor Channel, doesn’t mean you’re not a great hunter and you don’t kill a lot of deer that year. If you love to do something, that’s what you do. I feel like having a record deal and songs on the radio are just a bonus,” he says on his website.
Kristy Lee Cook
Cook starred in Goin’ Country, a show highlighting her hunting adventures and the balance of the outdoors with her day job. The former American Idol Contestant “breaks the barriers with this unprecedented crossover from the stage to the great outdoors.” She’s also an accomplished equestrian.
Former owner of his own firearm and outdoors shop, Aaron Tippin owns a Tennessee farm where he enjoys the outdoors as often as he can. The “Aaron Tippin Outdoors” shop has closed its doors, but we’re sure he gets his fill of hunting and shooting these days, between wine making and recording studio operations.
In an old interview with Country Weekly, Tippin said “I believe in the right for a law-abiding citizen to own guns. I especially wanted to be in the business where I’m setting an example of that.”